ONWA – Increasing Civic Literacy Among First Nations Youth – A Pathway to Change

“ONWA’s vision is to be a unified voice for equity, equality and justice for Aboriginal women. On a daily basis, ONWA advocates on behalf of Aboriginal women and their families for safer communities, improved and increased access to social services, increased affordable housing, improved and self-governed education, and for the elimination of violence,” says Betty Kennedy, ONWA Executive Director.

Ontario Native Women's Association

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), in partnership with Dr. Laura Buker, Assistant Professor for the Aboriginal Education Program, Faculty of Education and The City of Thunder Bay Aboriginal Liaison and City Clerk’s office will be facilitating a one day ‘Civic Literacy’ engagement session at City Hall Friday, July 27,2012.

The session with students from the Aboriginal Education program at Lakehead University is in direct response to recommendations provided in “Aboriginal Participation in Municipal Elections: Thunder Bay” (2011). The report was jointly developed by the ONWA and Leadership Thunder Bay, and strives to initiate change for First Nation residents in our communities through increased understanding of and participation in municipal governance.

The engagement sessions will immerse students from the Aboriginal Education program in discussions examining Civic Literacy in order to increase both understanding and knowledge of elections, the electoral process and political issues relevant to Aboriginal Canadians.

It is anticipated that participants will have an opportunity to integrate civic literacy principles into their classrooms, encouraging fellow students, and youth club participants to organize awareness around and educate themselves and their families on the importance of being aware of municipal issues, raising awareness of specific concerns and most importantly, voting.

When we don’t vote, we are a Sleeping Giant… When we DO VOTE, we are THUNDER and LIGHTNING!